OHP heal thyself

first_imgOHP heal thyselfOn 1 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. OH practitioners may be so involved in helping others they neglectthemselves and end up burnt out and exhausted. Tips on identifying the causes,spotting the symptoms and dealing with the problem are offered, by NerinaRamlakhan Working in occupational health is challenging and can even be frustrating attimes. This is particularly true in organisations that are struggling to learnhow to function effectively in an increasingly turbulent and unstructuredworld. As an organisational consultant and physiologist, I have spent a number ofyears working at various levels within organisations, often liaising closelywith OH departments. I have witnessed a shift in the role of occupationalhealth and an impact on the health of the OH practitioner if the turbulence isnot navigated with care and attention to self. The aim of this article is toraise awareness of what can cause burn-out and to highlight those strategiesthat can help to prevent it. What is burn-out? Since Freudenberger’s1 pioneering work on burn-out among the caringprofessions, there has been an explosion of interest in, and research about,this particular syndrome. Burn-out has been described as “to fail, wearout, or become exhausted by reason of excessive demands on energy, strength, orresources”. Maslach2 defined it as: “The loss of concern for thepeople with whom one is working … (including) physical exhaustion … (and)characterised by an emotional exhaustion in which the professional no longerhas any positive feelings, sympathy or respect for clients or patients”. The symptoms of burn-out are as varied as the sufferers. Some people becomeirrationally angry. Some resort to blaming any annoyance, large or small, onexternal factors. Some become quiet, introverted and isolated, which canindicate the start of a serious depression. Others manifest burn-out by under-or over-eating or abusing alcohol or other mood-altering substances. Stillothers may experience a range of physical symptoms, including chronic illness,high blood pressure and frequent headaches. In my experience of working with OHPs who have come close to burning out orare actually burnt out, they may become obsessive workaholics – working longerand less productive hours to get the job done. Time management becomes reactiveand firefighting the norm at the expense of creative and visionary work. Figuring out if you are stressed and on the verge of burn-out is notdifficult if you take the time to step back and evaluate your situation (seebox). The more difficult issue is often related to teasing apart the variouscauses of burn-out and then trying to manage those that are controllable. The work environment The work environment has undergone profound changes in the past 30 years orso, driven largely by information technology and global competitive demands. Inparallel, the image, perception and role of occupational health has changed,and the terrorist events of 11 September served as a further catalyst forraising issues about safety and wellness. Clients’ needs have also changed and this has inevitably had a knock-oneffect on the role of occupational health and its practitioners. Says OHconsultant, Carol Cholerton: “OH has shifted from being a nice-to-havebenefit, to having to justify its existence to the business in very hard-nosedterms.” This inevitably places additional responsibilities on OH practitioners toacquire and develop marketing skills that will enable them to be heard bymanagement. In other words they need to be able to speak the language ofbusiness. For many OH practitioners, frustrations arise when they feel they arenot being heard. Are you susceptible? Personality and burn-out Freudenberger1 identified three personality types in the caring professionsas being sensitive to burn-out: – the dedicated and committed personality type – the personality type that is overcommitted and whose private life isunsatisfactory – the authoritarian personality and/or patronising personality type. No matter what the personality type, when external demands continue toincrease, self-imposed demands can create even more pressure, and compoundingthis may be the insidious ego stroking involved in working harder. Althoughanyone can experience excessive stress, in my experience of working with OHdepartments, many practitioners do possess certain traits, which may bereinforced in their training, that make them more susceptible to burn-out; theyare conscientious and committed and much of their personal identity may be tiedup with their professional identity. Some people report that it is tough out there and getting tougher. However,some people and some organisations are nonetheless thriving. Darwin’s idea isthat it is the fittest that shall survive, but he did not mean strongest –which is the usual misapprehension. He meant those organisms that are mostadaptable to changing conditions. The following toolkit contains what I thinkcan help in these turbulent times. Many of these are things we all know andrecommend to our clients or patients but often neglect to follow ourselves. So,a little reminder. The lifeskills toolkit Understand your energy levels and manage them effectively: balance energyrecovery and expenditure. – Manage food stress – start the day with breakfast and then eat little andoften throughout the day, particularly if you are going to be working longhours. Keep healthy snacks (nuts, fruit, bagels) with you and avoid going forquick fixes such as caffeine or sweets. Try to drink at least one litre ofwater a day. – Create a healthy balance between activity and rest – research inchronobiology suggests that we should take breaks every 60 to 90 minutes inorder to rejuvenate and replenish mental/physical energy. Take a break away fromyour desk whenever possible, find a flight of stairs and walk up and down a fewtimes, go for a walk around the block, change mental channels for five to 10minutes. If you cannot get away from your office, do some stretches at yourdesk to release neck and shoulder tension, eye exercises to release tension, orbreathing exercises to lift your energy. – Stay fit for the job – we have evolved as an active species and as such weneed physical activity to keep stress in balance. Try to engage in some form ofaerobic activity at least three times a week. – Create healthy boundaries in your life – do you take a lunch break (even20 minutes is enough to replenish your energy)? What time do you leave work? Doyou take work home, and if so, do you do it? Do you talk about work /thinkabout it constantly when you go home? Can you engage in something positive thatwill help you to switch off? If you are going to talk about work, put a timelimit on it and do not allow it to ambush your whole evening. – Optimise sleep – this means keeping work out of your bedroom, allowingyourself time to wind down in the evenings (even if this means going to bedlater), minimising caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants and using relaxingessential oils such as lavender in your bath or on your pillow. Try to let goof anxieties about how much or how little sleep you should be getting as thisjust compounds insomnia. If you wake up at night and cannot get back to sleep,try getting up and writing about what may be bothering you. If you have atendency to wake up with your ‘to do’ list going round and round in your head,try writing lists before you leave work. The emotional toolkit In the wake of the tragic events of 11 September, I have become more awareof the way in which the current world conditions and emotional climate canimpact upon individuals. Increasingly, we need to develop and hone our sense ofemotional balance. This means becoming aware of when we are carrying aroundnegative emotions and losing balance. – Awareness – get into the habit of regularly doing an emotional check,particularly if you have just been ‘counselling’ a client. Are you holding anytension in your body? Can you release it by stretching or using breathingtechniques? Use your journey home (even if standing on a packed commuter train)to do an emotional check and relax your body. The key to doing this is bybreathing slowly and deeply from your diaphragm and bringing your mind intopresent focus. – Keep a journal – avoid bottling things up. Getting your feelings out on topaper can be an effective way of letting off steam and making sense of things. – Support – one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself andothers is to form a support network with other OHPs. This should not amount toa group of people sitting around complaining, but a forum for sharing problemsand seeking solutions. Talk to friends and family and be selective about whowill give you a genuine listening ear and help you to find constructivesolutions. – Join a yoga or pilates class – breathing techniques are very effective forreleasing negative emotions such as anger and fear as they arise. – Honesty – this is about truly acknowledging how you feel about asituation. Often, when we become emotionally overwhelmed by a situation orproblem our knee-jerk response is to run away from confronting it by engagingin manic ‘hyper-productivity’. We may be keeping ourselves busy but notactually getting much done and the mind is continuously running by itself withno guidance or direction. The key is to stop, clear space to focus mentally anddeal with your feelings constructively, even if it means having a good cry. The marketing toolkit Marketing is important for the OHP who is frustrated by an unresponsiveorganisation. This is about what the client wants, not what the OHP wants. If no-one is listening, why? Are you listening to the client? Are you givingthem solutions that can be used? This is not about lack of vision or ethics, or even pandering to clients.This is about listening to clients, becoming aware of their problems and thenconsidering how this relates to your business. As one OHP put it: “It’sabout thinking out of the OH box into the business they are operating in.”Find your supporters The dreaded word ‘networking’. Who is on your side? Who will listen to, andsupport you? Take every opportunity to liaise with your clients and get to knowthe business. Speak the right language Communicate in such a way that will achieve buy-in. Can you communicate effectivelyin meetings? Can you chair meetings? Can you use the language that the businesscan relate to? OH professionals increasingly need to enable themselves and empower othersto survive these turbulent, unpredictable conditions and transform them into opportunitiesfor survival, if not growth. This means being totally committed to self-careand achieving balance – whether in the clinic or the boardroom. Highperformance depends as much on how much you renew and recover energy as on howyou expend it. When people feel strong and resilient – physically, mentally,emotionally, and spiritually – they perform better, with more passion, forlonger. They win, their families win, and the organisations that employ themwin. References 1. Freudenberger HJ (1975) The staff burn-out syndrome in alternativeinstitutions. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 12(1):35-45. 2. Maslach C (1976) Burned-out. Human Behaviour, 5(9):16-22 Nerina Ramlakhan, PhD is an organisational consultant and physiologist. Sheruns a company called Equilibrium Solutions. Assess your risk for burn-outThere are two types of stress – eustress and distress. Eustress, or positivestress, occurs when you control your stress effectively. Distress, or negativestress, occurs when stress controls you. The following is a simple test tohelp you to assess your predisposition to distress in your life. The morequestions with a ‘yes’ response, the greater your risk for burn-out.– Are you highly achievement-oriented?– Do you tend to withdraw from offers of support?– Do you avoid discussing problems with others?– Do you have difficulty delegating responsibilities to others,including patients or clients?– Do you prefer to work alone?– Do you externalise blame?– Are your relationships asymetrical; ie are you always giving?– Is your personal identity bound up with your work role orprofessional identity?– Do you have a difficult time saying no?– Is there a lack of opportunity for positive feedback outsideof your professional or work role?– Do you live by the laws ‘don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel’?Case studyAnna is a good example of a dedicated and committed OHP. She strives to workharder to meet the increasing demands made on her. She feels unable toquestion, nor effectively protest the right of clients or management to makesuch escalating demands. She is a nurse of deep conviction and cannot say nobecause of a basic belief system that the needs of others are worthwhile, whilehers are not. When her efforts meet with less and less success, she works even harder.Despite her decreasing cost-effectiveness, she continues to believe that withlonger hours and greater intensity she can make a genuine difference to theorganisation she is working for. Breaking the cycle of burn-out came about when Anna was transferred to adifferent team with an experienced and observant OH manager. Her manager, awareof the dangers of Anna working from a deficit position (I’m not good enough),soon intervened and worked with Anna on establishing some healthy boundaries –a more balanced ratio of client-contact time to administrative time, healthierworking hours and breaks during the day, a holiday, and a communication skillscourse. Anna was willing to contract for these changes with her manager inorder to break the cycle. 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Erosional history of the Transantarctic Mountains deduced from sand grain detrital modes in CRP-2/2A, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica

first_imgDynamic provenance variations are deduced from sand-grain detrital modes in samples obtained from the CRP-2/2A drillcore. Below an important unconformity at 307metres below sea floor (mbsf), sand grains in most of the sequence were dominantly derived from Beacon sandstone and Ferrar dolerite sources, although alternating with subordinate thicknesses of strata derived from a predominantly granitoid source (Granite Harbour IntrusiveComplex; GHIC). Above the 307 mbsf unconformity, the reverse situation occurs, with most sediments dominantly sourced in the GHIC. Contributions from other sources (e.g. Jurassic Kirkpatrick basalt lavas and Proterozoic metamorphic basement) are also persistent but minor.An input of fresh volcanic detritus commenced at 307 mbsf and is ubiquitous in all the younger sediments. At least three (probably four) episodes of volcanism are identified, each lasting 1-2 M.yr in duration. The initial influx at 307 mbsf corresponds to the initiation of the McMurdo Volcanic Group (MVG) at c. 25 Ma and is much younger than estimates made previously by other workers for the oldest MVG volcanic activity in the McMurdo Sound region (Eocene?). Simultaneous major changes in the proportion of clast lithologies in CRP-2/2A suggest that the 307 mbsf unconformity is the most important petrological break within the cored sequence. It is speculated thatthe petrological contrasts across the unconformity are genetically associated with important climatic changes and/or rapid uplift episode(s) in the Transantarctic Mountains.last_img read more

Voteforme.com: electoral politics and Web 2.0

first_imgThat’s the problem for politicians in the new media age—success is about knowing how to ride the waves created by viewers and voters, not about making your own waves. What do you think—which political leaders “get” the Internet, and how much difference does it make to you if they do?Cherwell 24 is not responsible for content of external links Once upon a time, Facebook was for Ivy Leaguers, iPods were for tech geeks, and CNN was for the politicos.Nowadays, Oxford tutors are on Facebook and grandmothers carry iPods. Politicians are getting on YouTube! to reach the young reluctant voters they need to secure if they want to survive into the next decade.Tony Blair thinks new media is a feral beast, but he’s smart enough to use it himself. When Nicholas Sarkozy was elected President of France a month ago, Blair gave out he usual “welcome to the club” message statesmen send one another, but he did it over viral video. After chuckling at his school boy French, I have to give Blair credit. Like it or not, he knows there is no going back to the old-media days.Back on my side of the pond, Hillary Clinton is doing her part to run a new-media campaign. This month, she asked voters to help pick her campaign song in a series of kitschy viral video spots, the last of which offered a decent parody of the last Soprano episode.Do young Americans have really poor taste, because they picked Celine Dion’s “You and I”? More likely is that Hillary’s video campaign never reached the hip young things she was after. As Jessi Hempel of Businessweek explains on her blog, Hillary’s schtick comes across as decidedly old school, meant for TV networks. Internet video is its own beast, and the style needs to feel authentic. To come across as young and cool, you have to be young and cool.For Barack Obama, a political novice, this is good news. And the Obama campaign has the chance to reap big benefits from YouTube video, namely the I’ve Got a Crush on Obama video recently launched by the comedy site BarelyPolitical.com. A sultry young woman in short shorts and a shorter t-shirt grinds up against posters of Barack and croons, “I can’t wait for 2008/Baby you’re the best candidate.”A smart candidate would capitalize now to tap the population of young voters that no one’s been able to bring to the polls, despite all the chatter about youth activism each election year. A smart Obama would buy the rights to that video and post links to it on official campaign sites. A smart Obama would offer the 5 teens at BarelyPolitical a day shadowing him on Capital Hill, where they could video tape him at work, and YouTube! the footage.A stodgy candidate would take offense at a video that highlights just how young and inexperienced Obama is. The video signals that Obama is young enough to attract a woman young enough to be the daughter or niece of most middle-aged voters.I’m an Obama-skeptic, and so far, I can’t tell which camp he’s fallen into. And importantly, it’s not Obama’s own charisma that makes the video so powerful—it’s the fact that teens, not campaign staff, came up with it, that it rose to fame as part of the ideas MoshPit online, and was never planted into prominence by Obama2008. Even Obama can’t force his way into social media—his application on Facebook has gotten eye rolls from most of my friends as “trying too hard.” David Cameron, who has one of the better political blogs, can’t force it either—Cameron’s site has few comments, and as far as I can tell, most Britons aren’t reading it.last_img read more

Friday Soaker, But Looking Mainly Dry Saturday And Sunday

first_imgAfter a stretch of nice weather, things are going downhill as we finish out the week. A storm system approaching Friday will washout any outdoor plans. The good news is the heaviest rain will be over before the weekend starts, the bad news is the weekend and into next week will remain cool and unsettled.Sunshine will give way to clouds on Thursday ahead of the next storm system. A steady onshore flow will keep temperatures in the upper 50s. Any rain will hold off until Thursday night after midnight.High Temperatures For Thursday.Rain will be heavy at times on Friday along with a band of gusty t’storms arriving around midday. Southerly winds will help temperatures climb back into the 60s.Computer models show a line of gusty t’storms moving through Friday. (Courtesy:tropicaltidbits.com)Total rainfall amounts should exceed 1″+. With heavy downpours expected, localized street flooding could occur.The annual Spring Block Party is this Saturday and the big question is…will it rain? Once the storm moves through on Friday, a trough of low pressure will settle in for the weekend. Expect a sun mixing with clouds on Saturday with the threat of a few showers late in the day. It is too soon to see if any showers will effect the Block Party, but odds favor a mainly dry day.  Unseasonably cool air from Canada will spill into the region keeping daytimes temperatures in low 60s.  A great day for a light sweatshirt.The trough of low pressure will keep us cool into early next week with highs only expected to be in the 50s.last_img read more

Phish Soundchecks With “Sugar Shack” and “My Soul” In Mexico [Listen]

first_imgPhans are officially in Mexico, the music starts tonight, and Phish is happening. Soundcheck can either be of huge indication of what’s to come or none at all, but it always gives fans a clue of the kind of mindset the band is in before the show. Before a three-night run, it’s even more exciting.The Overhead View went live from Facebook for 45 minutes of soundcheck in Mexico last night. Below you can hear some brief jamming before the band goes into “Sugar Shack” and “My Soul” to complete their soundcheck. Tonight, the band will take the stage for the first of three nights at the Riviera Maya. You can listen to the soundcheck in the video below:Lucky for those not in attendance, the band will stream all three nights in Mexico. The webcasts will be accessible through LivePhish, and all of the information can be found here. Enjoy![Photo by Chad Smith]last_img read more

LCD Soundsystem To Release Two New Songs At Midnight (!!!)

first_imgRejoice, LCD Soundsystem will release two new songs at midnight, according to sir James Murphy in a Facebook post. The futuristic rock band recently played five nights at the new Brooklyn Steel in NYC, debuting several of the songs to the sold-out crowds. The band gave heavy instruction to prohibit use of all cell phones, so there are no records of these new tracks – however those in attendance will tell you, the listen will be worth the wait. “Call The Police” and “American Dream” will both be ready for stream tonight, according to Murphy, at “midnight (and i mean, literally, midnight. wherever you are. so, like, australia first, and so on and so forth) via the digital things that people use now on their devices.”Murphy also provided update on the forthcoming album’s status, which he says will happen as soon as he’s able to “finish last mix > get to bob to master > get masters to pressing plant” so that a record can be produced as vinyl. “I insist that there is vinyl on the day it’s released (because… well… because i’m an old person),” he writes. This will be the band’s first release of new music since 2010.The LCD frontman also says that there is a “LOT” of new music, and that it will be released as a “double A side.” The band will bring this new music on the road eventually, but no concrete plans have been made. Read Murphy’s update below:The band will bring their futuristic drum circle to the storied Studio 8H at New York City’s 30 Rockefeller Plaza to serve as the musical guests for Saturday Night Live’s May 6th episode.[photo by Chad Anderson]last_img read more

Understanding Global Trade

first_imgGalen L. Stone Professor of International Trade Elhanan Helpman discusses the revolutions in trade theory, showing how scholars shifted their trade flow analyses from sectoral levels to business-firm levels to clarify the growing roles of multinational corporations, offshoring, and outsourcing in the international division of labor.last_img

Putin makes his move

first_imgThe debate over Crimea has grown more heated as Russian President Vladimir Putin first insisted that citizens in the majority ethnic-Russian region of Ukraine should determine their own political fate, then supported a plebiscite there on the territory’s future, and finally declared Crimea part of Russia. But many world leaders disagree, arguing that Ukraine’s national sovereignty has been violated and that Putin is simply exercising a power grab.  By email, Nicholas Burns, professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard Kennedy School, answered questions about the crisis, its implications, and possible outcomes.GAZETTE: What is President Putin’s strategy toward Ukraine?BURNS: Following Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, Putin’s strategy is crystal clear. He seeks to build a band of buffer states in an orbit around the Russian Federation and to deny them the right to look westward for their future trade, investment, and security ties.  That is why he invaded Georgia in August 2008. He fought to separate it from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both still under effective Russian control.He is coercing Armenia, Moldova, and now Ukraine from even thinking about a relationship with the European Union, much less NATO. He may very well move to annex Crimea — a clear violation of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act, as well as the Budapest Agreement of December 1994.  Putin is also reserving the right to rush to “protect” ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine should that be necessary.Putin believes that power rules. He took Crimea because he could, knowing that NATO would not oppose him. I wonder if, with Russia on the move and China bullying smaller countries in the South China Sea, this is really the right time to reduce the U.S. Army to its smallest size since 1940.He has moved a massive number of troops to the Ukraine border to intimidate the new government in Kiev.  His strategy is to preserve what the Russians call their “Near Abroad” — a sphere of influence for Russia.  This is indicative of a 20th-century and very Soviet mindset that is contrary to the democratic and pluralistic trends in modern Europe of our own century.GAZETTE: How can the U.S. and Europe respond to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine?BURNS: President Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other European leaders are seeking to do three things in response.First, they are extending important economic assistance ($15 billion from the E.U. and $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees) to the new interim government in Kiev.  That, along with International Monetary Fund assistance, will be a shot in the arm to the struggling authorities in Kiev who are trying to guide the country to new presidential elections on May 25. President Obama’s meeting in the Oval Office last week with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk was important symbolic support to Kiev.Second, while NATO will not consider the use of military force to oppose the Russian invasion of Crimea (we have no security commitment to Ukraine and to rattle sabers would be foolhardy in the nuclear age), NATO is building up its conventional forces in those NATO countries that are situated close to Ukraine and Russia — Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.  These new members of NATO experienced the Soviet reality all too vividly as members of the Warsaw Pact or, in the case of the Baltic states, republics of the U.S.S.R.  They have, understandably, an existential fear of Russian aggression. NATO has accordingly sent F-15 fighters to the Baltic countries and F-16s to Poland to reinforce the point to Putin that NATO’s Article V collective defense commitment is rock solid. Putin is a rational leader and will not contest NATO primacy in Eastern Europe. His strategy is to prey upon the weaker countries that have no ties to NATO or to the E.U.  Nonetheless, it is very important for President Obama to exercise strong and visible leadership of NATO during this crisis.Third, Obama and European leaders want to employ sanctions on Russia to drive up the cost of the invasion to Putin.  But Europe and American may not be fully on the same page on sanctions. If the Crimea referendum results in a decision by Putin to have the territory separate formally from Ukraine through annexation, the U.S. and the East European allies will want to counter with strong sanctions. I hope that those European countries largely dependent on Russia for their natural gas imports will go along.  But the unfortunate reality is that Europe is hooked on Russian gas.  That has made them overly cautious in response to Putin. One policy decision Obama could make is to approve the sale and transport of liquefied natural gas exports to Europe.  While it would take several years to develop the infrastructure on both sides of the Atlantic, it might help to relieve the ill-advised European dependence on Russian energy over the long term.It is important to remember that Obama did not cause this problem, Putin did. Obama’s critics are wrong to blame him for Putin’s aggression. That charge did not add up when Putin ignored George W. Bush during the Georgia War, and it doesn’t now.  It may be a quaint and antique notion, but wouldn’t it be nice if politics actually stopped at the water’s edge on Ukraine? We won the Cold War, in part, because there was unity at home.  This is a time, I think, when Republican leaders should stand with Obama as he duels with Putin.GAZETTE: Is there a diplomatic strategy to help end the crisis?BURNS: Wisely, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have left the door open for a diplomatic resolution. They are trying to convince Putin to open talks with the new Ukrainian government on a possible agreement to provide greater autonomy for the ethnic Russian population in Crimea but to keep the territory within Ukraine. It is a good idea and provides an exit door for Putin should he wish to escape the crisis.  But, I don’t think he will walk down this road with us. And I don’t believe he will ever hand back Crimea now that he has stolen it.GAZETTE: What is at stake in the Ukraine crisis?  Why is it important to Americans?BURNS: A big idea — that every European democracy should be free, in the 21st century, to choose its friends and geopolitical orientation. If you think about it, we fought the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Cold War, because Europe was fractious, violent, and disunited. When the Cold War ended in 1991 with the merciful collapse of the Soviet empire, President George H.W. Bush said memorably that we had won a “democratic peace” in Europe.  It was one of the great achievements of American history and it has given us for 23 years (with the major exception of the Balkans) a welcome period of peace and of relative harmony and democracy in Europe.Putin has disrupted that peace with his violation of Ukraine’s sovereign territory.  While the Cold War has not returned in its original form, Cold War passions have been unleashed once again. We are thus witnessing the renewal of the great struggle for peace and freedom in Europe that I don’t think will end until Putin’s generation of Soviet men pass from the scene.When President Obama attends the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague later this month, he should visit the monumental Peace Palace that Andrew Carnegie built there in 1913. Carnegie thought it might be possible to promote the amicable resolution of global disputes and to end war among the great powers.  The Peace Palace is now home in our time to the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice.Putin could have taken his Crimea obsession to its gilded corridors. But he chose war instead.  I find it to be supremely ironic that one of the Peace Palace’s major backers, Tsar Nicholas II, blundered into the Great War a year later that ultimately destroyed his empire and dynastic rule.Obama could suggest that Putin, intent on restoring Russia’s greatness, be mindful of that historical lesson.  Carnegie’s call for a great power peace still resonates a century later. That is the peace Putin is threatening with his ill-advised land grab in Europe.(Parts of this email interview were supplemented with material from Nicholas Burns’ March 13 op-ed column in The Boston Globe on this subject.)last_img read more

James McAvoy Will Headline The Ruling Class in London

first_imgJames McAvoy has been tapped to lead a revival of Peter Barnes’s The Ruling Class in London’s West End as part of the second Trafalgar Transformed season. The X-Men star will play the fictional—and paranoid schizophrenic—14th Earl of Gurney in the black comedy. Directed by Jamie Lloyd, previews will begin at the Trafalgar Theatre on January 16, 2015, with opening night set for January 27. The production will play a limited engagement through April 11. The star revealed that his character “is heir to the Gurney estate and arrives wearing a Franciscan monk’s tunic of the Capuchin order.” McAvoy went on to say: “That’s just one of the many people he thinks he is…It’s about people at the top, thinking they’re God, and thinking that their power isn’t in any way limited.” McAvoy was last seen in the West End in 2013 headlining Trafalgar Transformed’s Macbeth, also helmed by Lloyd. Previous stage credits include Three Days of Rain. Probably best known for his role of Charles Xavier in the X-Men film franchise, other notable screen credits include The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Last King of Scotland, Wanted, Atonement and Filfth. View Comments The Ruling Class won the 1969 Evening Standard best drama award and the 1972 film adaptation starring Peter O’Toole became a cult classic.last_img read more

Ralph Fiennes Circling Two Classics at London’s Old Vic & Almeida Theatres

first_img View Comments Ralph Fiennes, who is currently headlining the London revival of George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, is eyeing two more stage projects in the U.K.’s capital. According to The Daily Mail, the Tony winner and Oscar nominee may star in a revival of Ibsen’s The Master Builder at the Old Vic and a classic play to be decided at the Almeida Theatre.Fiennes will likely play Halvard Solness in The Master Builder as part of Matthew Warchus’s first season as artistic director of the Old Vic in January or February 2016. He is also negotiating treading the boards at the Almeida Theatre under the direction of Rupert Goold, probably in a Shakespeare play, towards the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017.Fiennes won a Tony Award for playing the title role in Hamlet, and garnered an additional nomination for Faith Healer. He earned Oscar nods for The English Patient and Schindler’s List. His many film and TV credits include The Grand Budapest Hotel, Skyfall, The Hurt Locker, Clash of the Titans and the Harry Potter films.last_img read more